Why the Beatles Are Still Relevant to Millennials

Author: Danny Abriano, Entertainment

If you turn on Top 40 radio today, you’ll hear lots of different genres. One that isn’t heard much? Rock or Rock and Roll, whichever derivative you want to call it.

Part of that is because of how much music has evolved and how many different genres and sub-genres there are now. And part of it is because there simply aren’t any transcendent rock bands out there right now.

There are some good and even great acts, including The Black Keys and Arcade Fire. There are those who are still touring but removed from their prime, such as U2. And many who are still touring and far removed from their prime, such as Tom Petty, Neil Young and Bob Dylan.

In my opinion, though, there are no acts out there right now in their prime that actually transcend. None who make me think I’ll regret it for the rest of my life if I don’t see them.

Now, why are the Beatles and other classic rock bands still relevant to millennials?

When it comes to the Beatles, lots of things converged to create a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

For starters, they were the first band that actually wrote their own songs. The first popular band that brought true ferocity to the stage. The first band that evolved in a way where their first album is so different than their fifth that it’s nearly impossible to understand their brilliance.

The Beatles also gained popularity in the U.S. and around the rest of the world shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, giving American youth something to turn to.

Aside from their immense musical talent, though, the Beatles were political. They were opinionated. And sometimes purposefully and sometimes not, they gave young people a reason to feel free. A reason to rebel. A reason to experiment. A reason to hope.

And the above things are eternal and what transcends, making it easy to understand why millennials still identify with the Beatles and why many millennials are more hardcore fans than their parents were.

Other classic rock bands that transcend and are loved by many millennials include Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, but the Beatles stand head and shoulders above them.

I work for a Beatles festival, and while fans of all ages attend, it seems some of the most ardent and true fans are millennials.

Why is that?

With youth comes hope, and with the Beatles — who disbanded in 1970 when none of them were older than 30 — there is eternal youth.

The Best Classic Rock Spotify Playlists

Author: Danny Abriano, Entertainment

When people first hear about my taste in music, I’m often told I was born in the wrong generation.

While being born around 1950 (as my father was) and experiencing this music fresh in my teens and 20s would’ve been awesome, it’s great that it’s all at my fingertips now.

And while I prefer vinyl over all else, you can never go wrong with an awesome Spotify Playlist. Here are five of the best classic rock ones out there…


Acoustic Classic Rock (user: julesrobinson)

The word ‘acoustic’ doesn’t immediately come to mind when thinking of classic rock, but the era produced a few mainly acoustic acts – such as Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills, and Nash (featured here).

But even Led Zeppelin, one of the most kickass bands ever, stripped things down every now and then. The classic Going To California is here, as is Over The Hills And Far Away and more.

Also included are lesser-known but revered songwriters such as Harry Chapin and Jim Croce, as well as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne and others.


Classic Rock Workout (user: dannyschwartz25)

If you’re heading to the gym, working out at home, or just want something to amp you up, this playlist is for you.

I’ll admit, though, that the presence of songs from the Rocky IV soundtrack is what first attracted me to this playlist. But it’s awesome.

Also included are songs from Queen, Journey, Boston, Van Halen, BTO, Aerosmith and more.

One of the highlights here is the Beastie Boys’ Fight For Your Right, which is technically rap, but has classic rock elements. Just a great inclusion.


Classic Rock Greatest Hits (user: Scott Pruden)

I couldn’t possibly write this article without including a playlist that has tons of songs from the Beatles, and this one has over 60 of them – roughly a quarter of the bands’ catalogue.

The Beatles tracks here run the gamut, from their early Beatlemania days to the much more involved tracks on the Abbey Road LP.

While I’m going on about the Beatles, check out ten of their most under appreciated tracks.

Other highlights of this playlist include plenty of songs from The Band (whose members don’t always get their due), Billy Joel, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison and Badfinger – whose last surviving member, Joey Molland, performed at The Fest For Beatles Fans a few weeks ago in Chicago.


Classic Rock Road Trip (user: Daniel Fanaroff)

When I think of road trips and the summer, The Eagles are the band that comes to mind. And lots of their classics, such as Hotel California, Peaceful Easy Feeling and Tequila Sunrise are included here.

Another one of my favorite tunes – Into The Mystic by Van Morrison – is the first song on this playlist.

Also included here are tracks from Bruce Springsteen (whose storytelling style fits perfectly), AC/DC, The Allman Brothers, Cream, Tom Petty and more.


Classic Rock (user: Filtr Finland)

This article couldn’t possibly be complete without tracks from Jimi Hendrix, whose All Along The Watchtower and Foxey Lady can be found here.

The amazing and oft-overlooked ELO also has three tracks here, including the incredible Mr. Blue Sky.

Rounding this playlist out are songs from Lou Reed, The Romantics and Santana – whose set at Woodstock is one of the best things you’ll ever see.